Green Is Good for Your Children
By Donna Stark
For many of us, childhood more than likely consisted of school, play, and the avoidance of everything green on our dinner plates. And it didn't matter what our mothers told us either, because we were all wise to her "you will be strong like Popeye if you eat your spinach" trick, weren't we? But now that we are older (and wiser), we realize that tricks aside, our moms were right! Eating greens is a vital component of our overall health and wellness, and it's an important lesson to pass down to our very own children today.
Green Is Good
They will eat green cookies and drink green juice, but getting your children to try any type of green vegetable is like trying to get them to do chores around the house ... nearly impossible! But finding success with adding more green to their diets is worth all the hard work because the benefits to their overall health and wellness are endless! They may not know who Popeye is, but they will grow up to be as strong and healthy as he was. Check out the following suggestions on how to add more green to their meals in as kid-friendly of a way as possible.
- Smoothies - You can always pack their morning smoothies with plenty of green vegetables while still keeping it sweet enough for their tastes. Spinach, kale, avocados, and celery are some great choices.
- Soups and sauces - Chop those greens into your favorite soup and sauce recipes, but just remember ... the bigger the pieces, the more likely your children will complain, so chop wisely!
- Favorite dishes - Adding greens to the dishes your children already love is a great way to get them used to the idea of eating them on a regular basis. Add thin slices of zucchini to your lasagna or mash cooked broccoli with potatoes. You don't have to worry about ruining a dish, because the flavors barely change!
- Served with dips - Although this isn't always the healthiest way to serve green fruit and vegetables, it is a start! Slice some cucumbers, green peppers, celery, broccoli, and apples and serve with some tasty dips or peanut butter. Make the dips yourself and buy freshly-pressed nut butters for an even healthier treat!
Teaching Healthy Habits
Sure there are times when you need to sneak certain foods into your children's diets so you can get those nutrients in, but there are also times when you just need to encourage your children to try new things and to reinforce the value of eating healthily. So go ahead and introduce those greens and while you are at it, introduce them to Popeye too!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Beaverton, Ore.